That old song “Dem Bones” regarding the connection between the ankle, knee, hip, shoulders and neck has an integral connection to human movement. Often, this connection is overlooked causing the body to compensate in movement patterns that could lead to injury.
The body is designed to produce and reduce muscle forces for movement. One may think something as simple as walking is just that “simple”. Actually, the connection between all of the joints play an essential part this movement. Without getting too scientific and using jargon that may take away from the point of this blog, I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible.
Think of your muscles as not only tissue that produces force, but also a system of brakes. For example, muscles not only produce force to walk but other muscles work as a braking system for the entire body. This is the same in most movement patterns. If your workouts consist of mostly isolated movements like the leg extension, you are neglecting the other mechanisms of functional movement. (for example: pelvic and spinal stabilization, femoral or thigh movement and stabilization, fibular and tibial stabilization and movement, etc).
I am not saying one should never do this exercise. It does have it’s place in the fitness realm but, solely doing isolation movements neglects the important synergistic relationship of the foot, ankle, knee, pelvis, and spine in something as simple as walking or complex as a squat.
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Chika Christenson, MS
Owner and Trainer, Results Personal Training